Galveston, Texas is located 50 miles from Houston. So, whether you fly into the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) or William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) traveling between the two destinations requires a bit of planning before you arrive.
Luckily, this guide is here to help and will walk you through the eight best ways to get from Houston to the Port of Galveston, including:
- Shuttles from Houston to the Port of Galveston
- Private Transport from Houston to the Port of Galveston
- Unique transportation options from Houston to the Port of Galveston
- Large Group Transport from Houston to the Port of Galveston
- And much more!
Are you ready to get started? Keep reading to compare costs, discover exciting new options, and learn exactly how to book the best transportation from Houston to Galveston for you and your crew!
Shuttles from Houston to the Port of Galveston
There are two ways to travel by shuttle from Houston to the Port of Galveston because there are both private shuttle companies and official cruise line shuttle services operating in the city. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option.
1. Independent Shuttles from Houston to the Port of Galveston
There are five main shuttle companies that transfer cruise passengers from the IAH and HOU airports to the Port of Galveston and back again.
The Galveston Express costs $35 for the one-way trip from IAH to the Port of Galveston and $70 to $75 for the roundtrip. From the Hobby airport to the Port of Galveston the trip is $30 one-way and $60 to $65 for the roundtrip. The Galveston Express also gives a $5 discount to seniors and children purchasing roundtrip tickets.
Despite the name, Galveston Limousine does offer shuttle services between the airports and the port and even has the cheapest rates of all the companies in this roundup. A trip with Galveston Limousine costs $30 one-way and $50 for the roundtrip between IAH and the Port of Galveston when booked online. Between Hobby and the Port of Galveston, the shuttle is $25 one-way and $40 for the roundtrip per person.
Island Breeze Shuttle costs $105 per couple for the one-way trip from IAH to the Port of Galveston and $190 for the round trip, coming in at almost double the price of the Galveston Limousine shuttle service. From Hobby, the price is $85 one-way and $150 for the roundtrip for two.
If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, you can also choose the Galveston Flyer or the Super Shuttle for your shared-ride shuttle services between the IAH and Hobby airports and the Port of Galveston, but you’ll need to call the companies or request a quote online because nether shuttle service lists their prices on their website.
2. Official Cruise Shuttles from Houston to the Port of Galveston
With some cruise lines, you can also skip the third-party shuttle services and book your transport from the Houston airport to the Port of Galveston with the official cruise shuttles via your cruise package.
This option is often more expensive than the third-party shuttle companies but can be more convenient as well because you don’t have to worry about a late shuttle or no-show causing you to miss your ship’s departure.
Speak with your cruise line when booking your package to ask about rates and shuttle services between Houston and the Port of Galveston if this sounds like an appealing option for your group.
Private Transport from Houston to the Port of Galveston
If shuttles aren’t really your thing, you can also choose private transport to the Port of Galveston with taxis, rental cars, or ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of all three options below.
3. Taxis from IAH and HOU to the Port of Galveston
TaxiFareFinder estimates the one-way trip between IAH and the Port of Galveston will run you $190, but the good news is that the price is per car rather than per person. For four people, this comes out to about $100 per person for the round trip – which is double the price of the cheapest shuttle option but similar to the most expensive one. From the Hobby airport, the TaxiFareFinder estimates the trip will cost about $115 to reach the Port of Galveston.
4. Ridesharing Apps
Ridesharing with companies like Uber and Lyft is much cheaper than the taxi services in Houston. From IAH to the Port of Galveston, an Uber will only cost about $60 and can fit up to four people. For groups of two, that makes an Uber about the same price as the cheapest shuttle service and for groups of four, it’s significantly cheaper – all while being more convenient as well. From the Hobby airport, an Uber to the Port of Galveston is even more budget-friendly at only $40 per ride.
5. Rental Cars
If you’re planning to travel around Texas before your cruise or to stay in Galveston for a few days before you set sail, you may want to rent a car. Like any major airport, there are plenty of car rental companies to choose from at IAH. Click here to see all 11 rental car companies at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and begin comparing deals.
Rental car prices vary based on the car type, length of rental, your age, your insurance, the company you choose, and about a million other things, so call multiple companies to get quotes before you choose. And, remember that if you plan to keep your car for the duration of your cruise, you’ll need to factor long-term parking fees into your transportation budget as well.
Unique Transportation Options from Houston to the Port of Galveston
Want to travel in style? Skip the shuttle bus or Uber ride and check out these four unique ways to get from Houston to the Port of Galveston and start your vacation off with a bang.
6. Limousine and Party Bus Rentals
Sam’s Limousine offers both stretch limo and party bus rentals in Houston. A regular stretch limo holds up to 10 people and costs $75 per hour while an SUV limousine can hold up to 16 people and will run you $125 per hour. The party bus and mega party bus options at Sam’s Limousine hold 25 and 36 people respectively and cost $95 and $135 per hour. However, all of these rates are based on a minimum of three hours on Sunday through Thursday, four hours on Fridays, and five hours on Saturdays.
7. Exotic Car Rentals
The Houston Exotic Car Rental Collection by Enterprise is located at the Houston International Airport and offers exotic cars like BMWs, Cadillacs, Jaguars, Porsches and more. Enterprise has offices near the Port of Galveston so request a one-way trip (which, if allowed, will come with an extra fee) so you can drop it off before your cruise and avoid parking fees while you’re away.
8. Helicopter Charters
Go all out for your transport between Houston and Galveston and consider chartering a helicopter to fly between the two destinations! There are multiple helicopter charter companies in Houston where you can start your search, including:
- Apex Helicopters
- Paradigm Helicopters
- Charter Helicopter
- Air Charter Service
- Houston Helicopter Charters
If you’d rather travel by air then by road (and enjoy some sweeping Texan views while you’re at it), contact these companies to inquire about charter rates and required permits, but just be warned that this option doesn’t come cheap!
Large Group Transport from Houston to the Port of Galveston
For large groups, a van or charter bus rental is the most convenient way to travel between Houston and the cruise terminals and can end up being pretty budget-friendly as well.
The Galveston Shuttle and Limo company offers 14-passenger vans for the trip from IAH to the Port of Galveston for $350 including all taxes and fees, which comes out to about $25 per person each way. From HOU, the trip is a bit cheaper at $320 per van. Sam’s Limousine also offers charter bus rentals for up to 56 passengers for $115 per hour and, for smaller groups, the Mega Shuttle Bus option can carry 32 passengers for $95 per hour as well.
Explore Your Transport Options from Houston to Galveston With This Guide
If you’re flying into Houston there are many different ways to make the trip from the IAH and HOU airports to the Port of Galveston for your cruise.
Using a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft is the cheapest and most convenient way to travel between the two destinations, but you can also pre-book shuttle services or even use official cruise transport as well. For a little more freedom, consider renting a car to see more of the state on your Texan vacation or explore more unique and fun transport options like party buses, limos, exotic cars, and even a helicopter charter to make the trip even more memorable!
Whichever way you want to travel between Houston and the Port of Galveston, you can rest assured that this comprehensive guide has all of your options covered. So, choose the best option for you and your crew, book your trip, and then arrive at the Port of Galveston feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to set sail!
-Di Minardi (that’s me!), travel blogger at Slight North